Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the decision not to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd) was made much earlier, and had nothing to do with the current political development, especially the upcoming Rantau state by-election.
“Right from the start, I have made it clear that we live in a country of a multi-racial and multi-religious society and those issues (about Icerd) are complicated to be ratified,” he told a press conference after attending a meeting with 207 senior government officers in Langkawi last night
Mahathir said Malaysians as a whole had clearly showed that they would not be able to accept Icerd ratification due to the racial composition in the country.
“It (reason for non-ratification of Icerd) is not about politics, but because we adhere to the people’s demand,” he added.
Meanwhile, he said that more meetings with senior government officers will be organised to introduce the policies of the new Pakatan Harapan-led (PH) government and the roles that should be played by the government machinery
He said his meeting with the senior government officers in Langkawi last night was the second of such initiatives taken since PH took over the administration of the country after the May 9 general election.
“Actually, they have been ‘repairing’ the government machinery, but tonight they wanted to let me know in writing (by handing over a memorandum) so that everyone knows the government’s goals,” he told a press conference after attending the meeting with 207 senior government officers last night.
Apart from attending the meeting, the prime minister said he also chaired a meeting with Khazanah Nasional and discussed the government’s policies and approaches in matters concerning the government-owned company.
He said the policies would also apply to companies owned by Khazanah Nasional, including Malaysia Airlines Bhd.